Media release: Virtual Keith Festival gets underway this weekend


THIS weekend, the annual three-day festival of music, song, dance and verse, normally held in various venues throughout Keith, will be online.

Taking place on Facebook and YouTube Friday 11- Sunday 13th June, the Keith TMSA Virtual Festival was launched by chart-topping singer and TMSA patron, Barbara Dickson, last month.

Over 30 musicians, singers and entertainers will be performing over the course of the weekend and the results of the festival’s first-ever virtual competitions will be revealed.

The festival kicks off on Friday evening with 14 band leaders from all over Scotland providing music for a Virtual Dance. After this programme of easy old-time dances, there will be a live sing-a-round featuring top traditional singers such as Joe Aitken, Jim & Kate Taylor and Margaret Bennett.

On Saturday morning, festival goers will be able to see the virtual competition entries when published at 9.30am, with the results announced at the Prizewinners Concert at 6pm that evening, followed by the Saturday evening concert at 7.30pm.

Sunday will see the usual Bairns Ceilidh in the morning, the Chorus Quaich competition results in the afternoon and the Farewell Concert at night.

Throughout the weekend there will also be live sessions, panel discussions and a series of stories for bairns and ‘bairns at hert’.

Amongst the guests performing over the weekend are seven-time bothy ballad champion of champions, Joe Aitken, former BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalists, Iona Fyfe, Calum McIlroy and Ellie Beaton, champion fiddler Maggie Adamson from Shetland, local music group The Country Quines, Keith ex-pat Mo Rutherford and entertainer Craig Pike who is a member of Doric comedy group The Flying Pigs.

The entire Keith (or ‘The Friendly Town’) Festival will be free of charge with an opportunity for participants to donate towards the entertainers or Keith Festival itself.

Chair of the Keith TMSA Festival, Kathleen Anderson, said:

“A huge amount of work has been put in by the over 30 artists involved who are providing us with special performances and are all giving their time for nothing but the love of traditional music, song and verse.

“We also had a very successful competitions with around 180 performance and written entries across the classes and we are looking forward to the winners being announced over the weekend.

“We’ve managed to attract some of the top Scottish dance bands, traditional and bothy singers, musicians and entertainers in the country and we are very excited to share their performances with our global audience.

“Nothing comes close to an in-person festival where we are able to meet friends old and new and to share a song or a tune.  However, we’re trying to replicate the Keith experience as best we can and we hope folk join us to enjoy the wonderful music and song that Keith Festival has to offer.”

Keith TMSA Virtual Festival will be broadcast free of charge on and over the weekend of 11-13 June 2021.

More information can be found at


Notes for editors:

Photo with this release is local Keith music group, The Country Quines. Other photos are available; please just ask Gary Coull –

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